The Green Team from the Jim Shahi Unit
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust encourages all staff to think about alternative ways to travel to work to help relieve the pressure on the car park, and improve their health and fitness.
A specially designed area of the Trust intranet hosts a plethora of information on a range of options, which includes a cycle to work scheme, that allows staff to buy a bike at a discounted rate and pay for it monthly, a car share club, a walking buddy club, which encourages staff to join up with colleagues who walk their way. There are also route planners and maps, bus and train timetables, and even a calorie counter!
One team that has really embraced ‘leaving the car at home’ is the staff on the Jim Shahi Unit.
Staff on the unit care for patients with cardiac problems, and certainly understand the importance of regular exercise. Every day they encourage their patients to be as active as possible as a vital part of their post-op recovery, and their own effort to include exercise in to their daily routine sets a shining example. Of the 16 members of staff, 14 either cycle or walk to work. Independently they cover anything from 2 miles to 17 miles a day, and between them clock up an amazing 79.4 miles a day travelling to and from work. The two members of the team who don’t cycle or walk live too far away, but maintain the ethos of healthy living by regularly exercising in their free time.
Julie Turner, Sister on Jim Shahi is a firm believer in exercising regularly and thinks it’s important that they demonstrate to their patients how simple it can be: “It’s great that the team practice what we preach. We all know that regular exercise can help reduce the possibility of heart problems and cycling or walking to work is an easy way to add it to your daily routine. We run a very busy unit, and as well as the health benefits we all feel, we find the exercise also helps to keep us energised throughout the day.
“Cycling or walking also provides the additional benefit of not getting caught in the rush hour traffic or searching for a parking space, plus it doesn’t cost anything and patients and visitors to the unit often see members of staff coming in or leaving in their cycling gear!”
The Trust has also recently invested in three new electric pool cars for staff to use to travel between hospital sites and is continually looking for partners to add to its list of travel discount providers.